Sunday, April 11, 2010

Anything but last

So my wife has taken up running and has entered in a few 5Ks in the last few months. Now she is not a fast runner - which she will tell you herself. But she appears to like these 5Ks and has been entering all she can in the area.

Now it comes to pass that there is a race coming up called the "Dansby Duo (D2) at Bryan Lake. This consists of a 5K - 12 mile bike race - 5K. It turns out that you can partner with someone so she asked me to do it.

Now I am not what you call an athlete or a racer - I am, however, one of them types that likes a challenge so I said yes! I spent the last month or so prepping for it, first making sure I could do 12 miles and trying to gauge how much time it would take me.

They give you two and a half hours to complete the race, so with her averaging 35-37 minutes for a 5K, I had to do the 12 miles in less than an hour figuring she would most likely need to walk part of the second 5K - I mean c'mon she just took up running these things and to do two with a one hour rest in between...... So I went out an rode 12 miles - it took me a little less than an hour so things looked good.

We went out to scope the race course out and her confidence waned. The day of the race she finds out she has to run on a dirt road. her confidence wanes even further. But she is a trooper and starts the race.

Now having a wife that just starts a sport is like watching your kid at his first baseball game. "Please don't strike out" becomes "please don't come in last." Not that there is anything wrong with coming in last - I mean someone has to, its just that it can be a real blow to the ego unless, like me, you have a lot of experience coming in last, getting picked last, striking out, chocking....

So I am waiting in the transition area where all the bikes are kept. If you are a team you wait there for your partner, exchange the timer chip, and then ride your bike the 12 miles.

So here is what it looks like waiting in the transition area at the start of the race.

Notice how there are lots of bikes. Now remember that pit in your stomach feeling as your kid goes up to bat? Well here is a picture of the same transition area as I wait my turn to race:

Notice how there are only four bikes left and one of them is mine and two of them are ready to leave. This does not look good. Now remember - being last does not bother me, but I don't want her to be last, she has worked really hard to be able to run 5Ks which is 3K more than I have ever run in my life - even at my prime. So I have my work cut out for me.

So here she comes, we exchange the timer chip, and I am gone. Thank God I trained for this, the only problem is I have not been in a bike race since I did the Rosarito-Ensenada 50 mile back in the mid 1980s. So on the slight downhill start because of my excitement and panic of her coming in last I am sucking wind and having a difficult time getting my breath. This is not looking good.

I am peddling hard, I pass one, then two then four....OK, if I can get five to 10 minutes on these guys, she may have a chance if she has to walk. I passed about 12 other cyclists, so I was feeling pretty good. Like I said - I am glad I had trained for this. So I pull in, switch the chip and she starts walking to the start area to begin her 2nd 5K! Run you fool!, I gave you a little time - take it!

Well she did run - she ran the whole thing - two 5Ks in one day and the 2nd one was only half a minute slower than the first. I am really proud of her.

Oh, and she did not come in last either!

1 comment:

Shelley said...

You picked the picture where I look worried...good choice, lol!

One of your better posts!